Petroleum players deliberate on challenges facing development and utilisation of Africa’s energy resources

Many African countries face challenges in developing and utilising their energy resources. These challenges include lack of access to capital, inadequate infrastructure, unclear regulations, and limited local expertise. Speaking at the 2nd Ghana Biennial International Oil and Gas Summit in Accra, the Chief Executive of Ghana Gas and Board Chairman of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, Dr. Ben Asante, recommended a comprehensive development framework to address the issues. The 2nd Ghana Biennial International Oil and Gas Summit and Exhibition 2024 emphasised embracing innovation to redefine the future of the Oil and Gas Industry in Africa. Industry experts touched on responsible development of oil and gas resources for a just energy transition. 

Lack of Finance, Infrastructure, technologies, and the high cost of oil and gas production are among several challenges bedeviling the energy sector, hence the need to be innovative. Countries like Niger, Guyana, and others with new oil discoveries need much collaboration to build a robust and resilient energy sector.

The Board Chairman of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), Dr. Ben Asante said more gas processing infrastructure and pipelines should be built to enhance smooth distribution of gas to provide solutions to issues affecting the sector. “Adequate requisite infrastructure is critical. We need to make sure that our physical regime is attractive. We have to ensure that we have clear institutional and regulatory framework. It cannot be confusing. We have to build our intellectual capital. Particularly with our young folks, starting with the academic institutions,” he stated.  The CEO of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, Mr. Simon Seaton highlighted the importance of oil and gas in Africa’s development.

“Ghana and this region has been blessed with significant oil and gas resources. There are some who would prefer we do not develop these resources, and while I genuinely believe many of well intention, they are wrong, and the data is clear that we will continue to need oil and gas throughout the world for a very long time.” The Regional Director of SPE Africa, Madam Oghogho Effiom, said the petroleum sector on the continent of Africa is at a more critical stage, hence the need to enhance the capacity of players.

“This challenge before us is to leverage our accretional capabilities while embracing new technologies and practices that will ensure it is sustainable and prosperous further for ourselves and our industry, and this innovation is the key to our success.” The Section Chairman of SPE, Madam Sheena Owusu-Ansah, said SPE Ghana Section has established two student chapters, thereby increasing the number of students beneficiaries of the SPE programme.